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New community board gets down to business

November 9th, 2016
[by David Armstrong]

The new Motueka Community Board has hit the ground running, using its first business meeting to sort out some targets and priorities for its three-year term.

New chairman Brent Maru set the tone with the efficient handling of agenda items, enabling the meeting to be completed in good time.

The board members agreed in principle to accept the list of priorities presented by Brent in his chairman's report, as follows: Stormwater, Policing, Motueka Reserves Management Plan, Public Toilets, High Street Traffic, Motueka Historic Wharf, The Hub, Motueka Community Pool, Youth engagement, Rates affordability, Debt control and Playgrounds.

They agreed to debate and workshop this list in order to rank them in priority order.

They also divided up their responsibilities as board representatives on some key community groups, with newcomer Claire Hutt stepping up for work on some of her campaign projects including working with youth, public toilets and playgrounds.

Claire will work alongside the Motueka Cluster of the Tasman Youth Council, while the board asks senior council officers to look at the Standing Orders and the possibility under them for a youth representative to be at the community board table but without voting rights.

The new board also voted to continue the process of publishing the proposed list of Special Projects and asking Council to finish modifying and report on the criteria for project selection (see our earlier story).

The local body elections caused this work to be paused, allowing the new board to either choose a new direction or continue with the process being undertaken by the previous board.

The fund for Special Projects, which is built from a $10-a-year targeted rate, now sits at just under $100,000. Most of the projects that have been proposed have the approval of Council staff, but a few, such as the litter cart operation, are still contentious and may require a modification of project selection criteria.

TDC Reserves and Facilities Manager Beryl Wilkes spoke with board members (see photo above) about the current projects and budgets for her department's work in the Motueka Ward.

It was pleasing to see a sense of cooperation and willingness by Beryl to receive input from the community board as to the priorities of some of the works programme ahead. One priority already agreed is to upgrade the public toilets at Memorial Hall.

She said Council is a little behind on its capital works spending this year due to some vacancies in its staffing, but more work will be tackled from early next year.

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